Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

13,858 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.

Added by brentk56 on 04-02-2006

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 13,858 |  Reviews: 2,491
Photo of ajzy
2.5/5  rDev -42.8%

Photo of ejimhof
2.5/5  rDev -42.8%

Photo of shanegatter
2.52/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Thought I would try since this one is raved about. Nope still don't care for the IPAs

85 characters

Photo of mattjcrawford
2.52/5  rDev -42.3%

Photo of Jonterman
2.6/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not sure what the hype is, maybe I had a bottle from a bad batch. I poured it into a tulip - was overly bitter, nothing complex or interesting to me - just an over done IPA. I made it through the glass, but I'm not interested in trying another one.

 251 characters

Photo of jahbless
2.64/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Tried this because I saw it on a list of IPAs for those who don't like IPAs. It just reinforced my dislike of most IPAs
Bitter, bitter, bitter..

144 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.66/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

In the latest installment of "Angrytrator goes to the beer store," I'm re-reviewing Sculpin. I haven't bought this beer in over a year, because it's simply not worth $9 / bomber or $7 / pint.

But a $2.50 12oz bottle is quite fair. Since they just hit the area, I bought a sixer.

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange with lazy bubbles up the glass. Has 1.5" of off-white head with decent retention, but it recedes eventually into a light film on the brew and a moderate collar around the edges. Leaves a little sudsing down the sides of the glass.

S: Hmm. I remember this having a beautiful tropical citrus bouquet. This has barely any nose to it, despite pouring it into a snifter to enhance the aroma. I detect some grapefruit and a mild pale malt nose, but that's about it.

T: A nice blend of grapefruit, lemon pith, and apricot. Not much malt flavor, though there is a little sweetness on the finish. I seem to remember Sculpin being drier. Some pine, particularly in the aftertaste and exhalation. But nothing substantial or flavorful. Perhaps my palate is damaged, but I really don't taste a lot here.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Carbonation is creamy, not crisp. The flavor (what there is of it) is clean with no lingering bitterness or resin.

D: I don't know what's going on here. This has all the hallmarks of being an old bottle, but the bottling size (and its first appearance into our market) suggest it is fresh. Either they really screwed up the recipe, or some distribution snafu took place. Either way, this is a pretty big fall from grace. Ballast Point, feel free to start dating your IPAs so I can give these a fair shake.

 1,654 characters

Photo of WhiteTee11
2.68/5  rDev -38.7%

Photo of Strat58cat
2.69/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I'm way in the minority on this, and I know it. Sculpin IPA in my opinion is an unpleasant ale that I won't willingly drink again. I'm not going to drink Bud Black Crown again either unless it's forced on me by circumstances, but I have to admit I would probably enjoy Black Crown more. I respect Ballast Point, but they've gone for the unpleasant aromas and flavors that I find in some IPAs. I don't care for it, that's all. Imho, Sculpin is a fishy IPA. Completely overrated. Many better choices.

Looks fine. Clear and notably light amber in color. The head suds up well but does not retain at all. Fades away to a thin film quickly, especially for an IPA. Nice white color while it lasts, which isn't long. Little lacing.

The aroma starts off well with full grapefruit, but then there is something off. Underneath, there is a little bit of a fishy smell.

The taste starts off well with grapefruit, but then that fishiness is very apparent. It's a fishy aftertaste. No. They tried to go light on the malt to bring out the hops. At least they named it for a fish, which is appropriate.

The feel is okay. It's a very light bodied IPA, by design. They just messed up the hops or the malt in this one and ended up with a fishy aftertaste. Notably oily finish.

Overall, it's not as good as many others in the IPA space. My money is on several excellent Stone ales at this price point. I can do a lot better by just picking up a Lagunitas - or even a Rebel - for less money anywhere in Southern California. This IPA is very overrated. Other Ballast Point brews I've tried are very good, but not this one. The emperor has no clothes. Professional reviews have gone nuts over this for no good reason.

 1,725 characters

Photo of Kguilmartin
2.72/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of winter521
2.73/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of Corker444
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle. Used Pint Glass.

Had med to light foam not more than a quarter inch. Was light on carbonation. Poured light orange and had decent citrus notes. A lot of veg/bell pepper which I was not expecting.

Palate was smooth but not real lengthy. Was clean on finish and that did not last long.

It was good but not something I will go out of my way for over and over.

 386 characters

Photo of COR8RFAN
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of jredit
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of zestd
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of snailman22
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of gubner
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of newbeeraday
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of jon7017
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of JRossoni
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of ettbeer
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of Thomas_562
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of kringja
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of TreBonez
2.76/5  rDev -36.8%

Photo of Steasy66
2.8/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz into snifter, thanks to Scalene for sending this in 'Everything Local BIF'. Bottle says 'Enjoy By 080912'
A- Golden, lacy 1 finger head.
S- Big citrus, a bit dank
T- Very bitter, but not much flavor. Where is the citrus from the aroma?
M- Good carb, good consistency.
O- Was really excited for this one, but its simply not good. Everything seemed promising, but it just doesn't taste good. Really bitter with very little flavor and not much balance.

 454 characters

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 13,858 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.